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CAREERS: MADDER THAN EVER | TEST YOURSELF

How Steamed Do You Get?

November 02, 1998|KATHLEEN BRADY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

We all know what anger is, and we've all felt it--from fleeting annoyance to full-fledged rage. Anger is a normal, usually healthy human emotion. But when it gets out of control it can cause problems at work, in your personal relationships and in the overall quality of your life. Take this not-so-serious quiz for a little insight into how you handle your anger:

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1 When you discover that your younger brother just got a 20% raise and you didn't, do you:

A. Stay away from him for a week or two until you calm down?

B. Curse, swear or speak with him in very colorful language?

C. Anonymously order books and pizzas on his credit card?

*

2 While driving home night after night, you find yourself in major traffic jams, do you:

A. Play a favorite piece of calming music on the car stereo?

B. Start carrying an Uzi under the front seat, just in case?

C. Plan ways to mow down all the other drivers in your way, perhaps even steal a tank?

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3 You discover your wife is having an affair with someone in another department, do you:

A. Tell your best friend about it, and ask for advice?

B. Field strip your M-16 rifle in the evening while thinking of "certain people" at work?

C. Send an anonymous letter to her lover's spouse?

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4 A colleague seems to be getting all the breaks at your expense, do you:

A. Let it be known that you are disappointed and stay out of his way for a while?

B. Gather dog poop into a paper bag and stash it in his desk?

C. Mope and sulk, hoping that he will see that you are disappointed?

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5 The elderly man driving behind you just tapped into your rear bumper, do you?:

A. Get out of your car, inspect for damage, and exchange information?

B. Grab him by the collar, and slap him around for being so stupid?

C. Get his home address and secretly send him religious tracts?

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6 A junior associate is making a lot of mistakes, and goes to one of your colleagues for help instead of to you, do you:

A. Offer to help identify areas of weakness and support her through the learning process?

B. Tell others within her hearing distance that she is too stupid and will never "get it"?

C. Think: She should show me more respect. After all, I am her superior. I deserve it?

*

7 In a competitive situation you find yourself becoming upset and angry, do you:

A. Take a break, maybe go for a walk?

B. Stop on the way home and buy a new stone to sharpen your knives?

C. Demonstrate that you are a perfectionist at everything you do?

*

8 While waiting for a parking space, a small red sports car zips into the spot, do you:

A. Drive on and look for another space?

B. Start ramming into the sports car, because your car is bigger and you have more insurance?

C. Wait until the offender leaves and then spit on his windshield?

How did you score?

Mostly A: You have found ways to cope with the stress of modern life. You have accepted that life will always be filled with frustration, pain, loss and the unpredictable actions of others.

Mostly B: Get yourself into an anger management class pronto! If you wait, you'll probably have to get court-ordered counseling, which could make you even more unhappy in the long run.

Mostly C: Learn how to more constructively express your anger and look for new ways to calm yourself. Try visualizing a relaxing experience from either your memory or your imagination.

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